Civil Liberties

Judge Strikes Down Oregon Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Recognition


Not even same-sex couples are immune to awkward height differentials when dancing.
Credit: CarbonNYC / photo on flickr

You'd think a state with a progressive reputation like Oregon would be all about the gay marriage train, but that's not the case. Actually, some counties within the state did start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in 2004, but then a ballot initiative passed prohibiting same-sex marriage recognition in the state.

But another federal judge's ruling today has, rather predictably at this point, struck down Oregon's ban. Furthermore, government officials in Oregon are not going to appeal the judge's rulings, and the judge rejected an effort by the National Organization for Marriage to intervene to protect the law, meaning the battle's apparently over in Oregon. The order is effective immediately.

Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed notes that this is the 12th ruling against gay marriage bans since the Supreme Court last year struck down the part of the Defense of Marriage Act that allowed the federal government to refuse to recognize same-sex unions in states where they had been legalized. He also posted the ruling here.

Following up on other recent gay marriage news: In Arkansas, the state's Supreme Court has instituted a stay on gay marriages there pending the state's appeal. A judge struck down the state's ban on May 9 and did not issue a stay. As a result, there have been several hundred licenses handed out to same-sex couples in Arkansas. That all ended on Friday (following some additional complications over a separate law that forbid clerks from handing out same-sex marriage licenses. The judge struck that law down, too).

And in Utah, where the state is also appealing a federal judge striking down their marriage ban, the state has ordered a halt on issuing birth certificates for same-sex parent adoptions. The state's attorney general contends that recognizing same-sex adoptions should also be put on hold and the state should not recognize same-sex partners as legal parents while the state appeals the marriage decision.